3 prospects Dave Dombrowski could turn into trade chips
By Matt Rappa
2. Mick Abel
Standing at 6-foot-5, right-handed pitcher Mick Abel was the Phillies’ 15th overall pick from the 2020 draft out of Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon.
Abel was ranked by MLB.com as the 11th-best prospect prior to the draft, praising him for “showing flashes of three plus pitches, starting with a fastball that was regularly in the 93-95 mph range.” Abel’s 82-86 mph slider was also described as a “very effective pitch,” along with him having a feel for a curveball “with more over the top rotation to it.”
In a June interview, then-Phillies general Manager Matt Klentak told broadcaster Kevin Frandsen in a podcast interview that he could tell just by talking to Abel of how prepared, passionate, disciplined, and confident he is. “He’s all about getting better, learning, and growing,” Klentak added.
The Phillies took a risk drafting Abel, considering the organization has steered clear of taking a high school or prep arm with their first-round pick. “Frankly, that’s part of the reason we’ve taken so many bats in the first round the last few years,” Klentak continued.
Things changed in the 2020 draft, however, as the Phillies went in with the mentality that they were not going to shy away from a high-upside player, “even if it was a slightly riskier demographic historically.”
“[Abel] is really wise beyond his years and he’s got a very bright future as a player, both because of his physical talents but also what he’s got upstairs,” Klentak said.
Trading away a pitching prospect, especially one who has a high-upside like Abel, would be risky for the Phillies, yet you have to wonder if the 19-year-old will be dealt by Dombrowski in exchange for a more big-league-ready arm.
Dombrowski noted during his Friday introductory press conference that the Phillies already have three solid starters in the rotation in Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin. Could he look to complement them by trading for another notable arm; if so, Abel just might have to be part of the deal.